For the St. Louis Blues and their fanbase, the past few decades have been a bit challenging. But behind a rookie goaltender in Jordan Binnington (who also set team records for a rookie goaltender for the franchise) and a talented core that has been on fire in the postseason, the Blues are poised to go for what would be an overwhelming Cinderella story if they can finish the job.
Only one problem: they have to go through the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins made their way to the Stanley Cup Finals after being on the brink of disaster in their series against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets were coming off a four-game sweep of the regular-season champion Tampa Bay Lightning, a virtually unheard of occurrence in American professional sports.
After falling down 2-1 to the Blue Jackets, the Bruins went on a three-game tear to come back and clinch the series. Against the super-hot Carolina Hurricanes, the Bruins annihilated what was an otherwise scrappy underdog hockey team. Where the Blues have overcome the odds to get to this point, many would say the Bruins are supposed to be here.
As they say, something has got to give when an unstoppable force hits an immovable object: will the Blues continue their Cinderella run, or will the Bruins smash another pair of glass slippers?
Depending on the out and the market, the prices for the series are pretty predictable given the outcome of some of the previous series. According to the books, they expect a relatively close series; however, the price ultimately favors the Bruins. Given that the Bruins are the superior team on paper and have been very consistent, it’s perfectly logical as to why their pricing is a respectable -165.
The miracle Blues and their magical run will reach the ultimate goal with a price of +145. Based on the pricing alone, oddsmakers give the Bruins an implied 62-percent chance of victory, compared to the Blues’ 38-percent chance of series success.
Sides and Totals
Sides and totals are the meat and potatoes of sports bets, and this is no secret — it’s going to be hard to find a clear-cut advantage, regardless of home ice or not. The Bruins square off in Game 1 as -150 favorites with the Blues listed at +130 in most markets.
Given the disparity in school and the fact the Bruins have home ice, it’s no surprise the oddsmakers not only price the Bruins nicely on the series as a whole, but for Game 1, they are giving them a very solid chance to start the series with a bang. Hockey is a moneyline sport, but there are alternate bets you can make, namely the goal-line, which is set at Boston -1.5 for +175 and St. Louis at -210.
For goals scored, the oddsmakers set a healthy total at 5.5 goals. While most hockey totals are steady around 5.5, the juice portends a lot of preference for the under, which is currently juiced at around -145, versus the over which is +125.
People love to bet exotics, particularly in championship series or games. For the Blues’ outstanding rookie goaltender, Jordan Binnington, they expect him to have a total of 13.5 goals, which a 10-cent line hung on each side of the bet. For Binnington’s Bostonian (by way of Finland) counterpart, Tuukka Rask also features an over/under at an identical number.
For Game 1, bettors can also take a shot at who scores first. The Blues are currently road dogs to score first, with the Bruins having a juicy -140 price on them to score first.
While hockey fans and gamblers alike are anxious for the first face-off, either way, a legendary Stanley Cup Finals is right before us.